Music 664

Form in Music


Western Michigan Univ.                                                                             David Loberg Code

School of Music                                                                                2315 Dalton, x7-4683

Spring 2005                                                                                       Email:

                                                                                                Office Hrs: Tu-Th 9:00 or appt.




      The primary goal of music theory is to develop in you--the performer, the teacher--the critical tools needed to understand a piece of music, create a meaningful musical interpretation of that piece, and convey that interpretation to your audience or students. This aspect of music theory is meant to be imminently practical and intimately connected with what you do in the studio, in the practice room, and on the stage. Music 664 will emphasize the formal structures found in whole pieces of music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic, and 20th Century periods of Western art music.




1. Burkhart, Charles. Music for Analysis (6th ed.)

2. Green, Douglass. Form in Tonal Music



SYLLABUS (subject to change)


Jan 3      Structural Phenomena (Chpt 1-3)

Jan 10      Phrase structure (Chpt 4-6)  

Jan 17      Binary Principle (Chpt 10)   

Jan 24      Quiz #1; Begin Sonata-Allegro form (Chpt 11)

Jan 31      Sonata-Allegro Form, cont'd (Chpt 12)    

Feb 7      Ternary Form (Chpt 8) Rondo Form (Chpt 9)

Feb 14      Paper #1 Due, Concerto (Chpt 13)                   

Feb 21      Midterm Exam

Feb 28      *Winter Recess*  

Mar 7      Imitative forms (Chpt 14)                      

Mar 14      Fugue

Mar 21      Variation Procedures (Chpt 7)

Mar 28      Quiz #2; Begin 20th Century Forms                   

Apr 4      20th Century forms cont'd

Apr 11      Paper #2 Due, Review

Final Exam  Wednesday, April 20, 10:15-12:15




Your grade for the course will be based upon the following materials:

                  Quizzes (2 @ 10%)       20%

                  Papers (2 @ 15%)        30%

                  Midterm Exam            (20%)

                  Final Exam              (25%)

                  Homework & Participation 5%

NB: After the midterm (but before the final) you may elect to alter the distribution of the two exams. They will still total 45% of your grade but may be divided in one of the following ways (Mid/Fin):
      17.5%/27.5%, 20%/25%, 22.5%/22.5%, 25%/20%, 27.5%/17.5%.


      The grading scale will be as follows:

A     93-100      C     73-77

BA    88-92       DC    68-72

B     83-87       D     60-67

BC    78-82       E     59Ż

Should this scale result in a very unbalanced grade distribution (it usually doesnąt), grades may be curved to compensate.



      Attendance is expected for all classes. Any absence (including arriving late and leaving early) is regarded as an unexcused absence (with the exception of official tour dates and documented emergencies) and can effect your final grade. Your instructor is under no obligation to make-up missing materials or activities. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed from other students. If a medical or family emergency prevents you from attending an exam, you must notify the instructor on or before the date of the exam (via voicemail, email, or a message left at the School of Music Office, 387-4667). Otherwise there are no make-ups for missed exams. For late assignments, a percentage point may be deducted for each day past the deadline.


      You are expected to participate fully in class. Talking, sleeping, eating, listening to headphones, doing homework, surfing the web, and similar distractions are inappropriate in class. All cell phones and beepers must be turned off during class. If your phone should ring, please answer it outside and don't come back. Laptops and PDAs can only be used for class-related activities. The instructor reserves the right to view any open materials (books, paper, laptops, etc.) to determine if they are being used for class purposes. (If you don't want me to see something, don't have it out.)


      You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Graduate Catalog (pp. 24-26) that pertain to Academic Integrity. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test. Additional information about WMU's policies regarding student conduct and academic dishonesty can be found at:





      There will be two paper assignments for this course. For each assignment, I will provide a list of forms from which you can choose. To ensure an even distribution, each class member will sign up for one (unless the class is quite large). The papers will include a comparison of definitions and descriptions of the particular form from at least four different sources. The paper will also include a description of a piece illustrating this form. The piece should ideally be written for your instrument/voice. (Perhaps even one that you have played or are playing.) Finally, in addition to the paper itself, you will prepare a 1-page handout on this form to distribute to the other members of the class.


The above schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in
the event of extenuating circumstances as determined by the instructor.